Introduction: Social Movements, Protest, and Academic Knowledge Formation. Interactions since the 1960s


  • Susanne Schregel



history of science, history of universities, history of higher education, history of knowledge, student activism, critique of science, university reform


This introductory paper seeks to stimulate discussion on entanglements between protest campaigns, social movements and academic processes of generating knowledge in the USA and Western Europe since the 1960s. It examines how protagonists from social movements and counterculture have contributed to understandings of academic knowledge formation and its relationship to the public sphere, the role of the scientist, and the practical processes involved in generating and acquiring knowledge. Focusing on drafts of both ‘alternative’ and ‘conventional’ science and their impact on each other, the paper in particular suggests enquiring into the creative and experimental aspects of alternative scientific projects and the media in which they took form. In pursuit of this goal, it proposes to transcend the existing compartmentalisation of research in social movements and the formation of knowledge into numerous specialities, and to further broaden the dialogue between the history of social movements and the history of science and of knowledge.